Glamorgan sent crashing for 31

Glamorgan 281 and 31 Middlesex 319 Middx win by innings & 7 runs
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The Independent Online
When Phil Tufnell the batsman starts taking liberties with your world-class strike bowler, it is probably safe to assume that this will not be your day. So it proved in the most disastrous way for Glamorgan at Sofia Gardens yesterday. They were bowled out for 31, the fourth-lowest total in their history and their lowest for 39 years, and lost to Middlesex in humiliating style by an innings and seven runs.

This is what comes of allowing Tufnell to hang around for 70 minutes, swatting merrily away at Waqar Younis and frustrating your best-laid plans. It was astonishing stuff. In the first hour of the day Middlesex lost four of their last five first-innings wickets while adding just 27 runs.

Tufnell and Jamie Hewitt then added 41, which seemed useful but not crucial. As it happened, a 10th-wicket partnership of somewhat fewer than 41 would have done. Glamorgan's innings was all over in precisely 16 overs, and for Hewitt the day got better still - he returned the best figures of his career, 6 for 14.

It was his senior partner, Angus Fraser, who made the initial incision which brought Glamorgan's wall tumbling down. From the third ball of Fraser's first over Steve James, turning to leg, was swiftly adjudged lbw.

If that appeal was not of Fraser's more strident variety, those which he bellowed after the fifth and sixth balls of his second over certainly were. Hugh Morris and Matthew Maynard were both crease-bound and sent packing by the umpire Bob White.

Enter Hewitt. He is only 21 and this season has demonstrated an admirable propensity for bowling wicket-taking balls. He allied that yesterday to a rigid line - not, so far, one of his consistent attributes - and Glamorgan, their hearts not truly in it, capitulated.

It was not that they played particularly badly or that Middlesex were especially venomous, or that the pitch was a minefield - but they were in a mess and there was no getting out of it. In quick succession Hewitt had Adrian Dale caught and bowled off an optimistic drive, Robert Croft unable to get forward and adjudged leg before and Gary Butcher bowled while barely moving.

At 11 for 6, Glamorgan were in serious danger of replacing the 22 they had made against Lancashire in 1924 that was entered in the record books. As it happened they overtook not only that but the 24 they scored against Leicestershire in 1971, the 26 they managed against Lancashire in 1958 and equalled the 31 they accumulated against Surrey in 1957.

Adrian Shaw twice edged behind, being dropped but then caught by Mike Gatting, while Tony Cottey, who tried to get on the front foot, produced token resistance before perishing leg before like so many of his fellows. Waqar went the same way to Fraser before Hewitt finished matters off with a catch behind.

Glamorgan's innings contained six lbw verdicts but few of the batsmen had cause for complaint. Hewitt, who will probably take some time to improve on these figures, suspected that Glamorgan's spirits had been lowered by Tufnell's batting resistance.

There could not have been many occasions in the left-arm spinner's career when he has made the highest score - 21, in a day when 15 wickets fell.

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